Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Gold has always been an important metal in Judaism. In fact, it is mentioned in the Tanach 389 times. Sometimes gold was used for positive purposes like when the women swiftly contributed gold to the Mishkan. Other times, gold was used for negative purposes like for the Egel HaZahav (Golden Calf). Gold is convenient to have as even small pieces of gold jewelry can be worth a lot and the value of gold is recognized worldwide.

However, in Judaism we have something more important than gold, as it says in Tehilim 119:72: The Torah of your mouth is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. In Pirkei Avot 6:9 we learn a lesson about priorities: Rabbi Yose ben Kisma was once walking and a man said to him, “Rabbi, would you consider living with us in our place? I would give you a thousand denari of gold and precious stones and pearls.” Rabbi Yose ben Kisma answered: “My son, even if you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls that are in the world, I would not dwell anywhere except in a place of Torah.”


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Sharona Margolin Halickman is the founder and director of Torat Reva Yerushalayim a non-profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study classes for students of all ages and backgrounds.